It’s a funny thing about the eastside, but they get a lot of racism just before election time.

               The Brighton Democrats go on Facebook to say the Republican town board candidate is a white supremacist, and the Pittsford Democrat town board candidates go on TV to say the whole damn town is racist.

               Democrat kids stage walkouts in the Pittsford schools, and one of them circulates a list of “Mendon racists” correlating names of cancelled classmates with specific offenses – “supports Trump” being the most common.

               There’s a lot of that at this time of the year.

               It’s funny how the revolution rolls.

               The problem is, it’s not always true.

               Like the much ballyhooed racism at the Pittsford soccer games, intoned about seriously by TV reporters and condemned vociferously by Democrats protesting outside town hall.

               The story is that a Democrat town board candidate from Greece went public with the claim that a black brother and sister pair from Greece Arcadia, both soccer players, had, in separate incidents on consecutive days, been racially taunted at games hosted by Pittsford Mendon High School. One was called the n-word, by a former four-year teammate, and the other was heckled with monkey noises from the bleachers.

               These are very serious things.

               And evidence of the white supremacy that’s all over the eastside. And proof that the woke leadership of the Pittsforward Democrats is needed immediately. And a reminder that if you don’t vote for the right people, it’s because you’re a racist yourself.

               Except that, it didn’t happen.

               Faced with accusations of blatant bigotry on the evening news, the Pittsford Central School District, in a break with contemporary American practice, did not immediately start firing people, scheduling sensitivity seminars and self-flagellating. Instead, it investigated the allegations.

               You see that as either prudent or racist, depending on who you voted for last November.

               And here’s what they found: Nothing.

               It didn’t happen.

               The racist monkey sounds made at the young man? Didn’t happen. There’s video and audio. And when a Greece Arcadia player taunted the crowd, the crowd taunted back – with nothing racial or racist being said, done or implied. The n-word between players? Video, audio and interviews with players, coaches and officials finds no evidence and no opportunity. It didn’t happen.

               What the Democrat Greece town board candidate said isn’t true.

               What the Democrat Pittsford town board candidates protested about didn’t happen.

               A month before Election Day, this particular October Surprise turned out to be a dud.

               And maybe that’s a coincidence, or maybe the manufacture and manipulation of racial outrage for political gain is something we should call out and condemn. Maybe we should recognize that the war against fake racism derails the war against real racism.

               And maybe we should reject those who condemn entire communities – or countries – as innately and inherently bigoted. And maybe we should stop weaponizing our children and roiling their feelings with our narrative that they are victims or perpetrators in a world of injustice and hate.

               The race hustle is nothing new. It has played out over decades. “Bonfire of the Vanities” was written more than 40 years ago. Its most common current iteration -- as a weapon of intimidation for woke progressives – is the same turd tied up in a different bow.

               And it does the same damage.

               It cries wolf in a world where there are still wolves to fear.

               When false claims of racism are made in order to gain political advantage, it makes people cynical about all cries of racism. And every subsequent real claim ends up diminished by the memory of the false claim. An ends-justify-the-means approach to progressive politics is common, and wrong. You can’t do the right the thing the wrong way or advance the truth by telling a lie. And all is not fair in love, war and town board campaigns.

               Right is right and wrong is wrong and a lie is a lie, even if it helps you take over a town.

               So here’s the truth: There are wonderful people on the eastside. And their strengths and weaknesses are in about the same proportion as would be found anywhere else. They are no better or worse than anyone else, and they are neither more nor less prone to racism than anyone else.

               They are just people, like the rest of us, trying to make their way through life the best they can.

               But if you watch them on the evening news, you get the impression that they and their towns get a lot of racism just before election time.

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